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Pack axe recommendations

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Maine20, May 17, 2018 at 7:56 PM.

  1. Maine20

    Maine20 Basic Member Basic Member

    130
    Aug 8, 2017
    Just picked up a head to build a pack axe. It’s a convex Dayton type pattern, just under 2 lbs. I have some thoughts on handle shape and length but I would be interested in others opinions on handle options.

    I’m thinking function over form. A tool that can fit in a pack or be strapped to the pack without sticking up too much. It should be able to split kindling, limb, and buck. Not too worried about detailed carving.

    I know the Hudson Bay pattern is a popular choice for this type of axe but I’m not a fan of the small pole and bit heavy balance. With that said they do look awesome. Anyway, thanks for any thoughts and or advice.
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  2. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    241
    Jul 31, 2017
    Ha... my HS Long Trail Pack's height is 36 inches, so I guess I can carry full size axe. But seriously, 26-28 would be optimal (depending on how tall you are)
     
  3. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I know you're trying to keep it compact but I'd try to get at least a 24" handle on it. Not only more effective but safer.
     
    jblyttle and Maine20 like this.
  4. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    And if you're planning to use the poll alot consider a straight haft. Otherwise use a curved haft.
     
    Maine20 likes this.
  5. Maine20

    Maine20 Basic Member Basic Member

    130
    Aug 8, 2017
    You basically read my mind with this post and the one on handle length.
     
  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    I'd go with a 22" haft so it fits well in a pack, and I'd go with a curved fawns foot haft to get the most out of your 2lb head ( curved hafts are generally considered to add speed )
    Its no problem to choke up for pounding as it's not like you need the full length to pound in some carved tent pegs.
    It's not a sledge hammer, and heavy pounding probably won't be happening unless you've got wedges and plan to fell a small tree.
     
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  7. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    241
    Jul 31, 2017
    Out of curiosity, I have just put my small 2 1/4 lbs Woodslasher boy's axe on the scale. To my surprise, it weights whopping 53 oz (27 inch from top to bottom)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 9:26 PM
    Miller '72, Square_peg and Maine20 like this.
  8. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    Yes, as long as possible while still pack-able. You can slim a handle to save weight but keep it a bit longer. Check out West Handles.
     
    Maine20 likes this.
  9. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    Mar 31, 2016
    Like they said, boys axe with a 24" straight handle for anything serious, like an area with no small timber (3" and under).

    What I mostly pack is my snow and nealley penobscot bay. It's basically a 1 3/4 pound Hudson on a 16" handle. It seems optinized for cutting and carving, it has a very thin, heavily radiused bit and it holds an edge quite well. Not too good on dry hardwood or anything thicker than about 5".
     
    Maine20 likes this.
  10. Maine20

    Maine20 Basic Member Basic Member

    130
    Aug 8, 2017
    Thanks for responses so far. I am thinking 24” length is a good compromise between portability and usefulness. I am still going back and forth on stright vs curved handle.
     
    phantomknives likes this.
  11. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    947
    Jul 25, 2017
    Just my 2 cents FWIW...

    I agree with a lot that has been previously put down for you. :cool:
    I would only add that if you want to limb and buck, safely, I agree that longer is the way to go...26/27" would be good IMO;)safe.
    Anything can be done and made to use for the situation all said and done:cool:

    Curved or Straight...I like both:cool::thumbsup:
    I wouldnt want to buck many large rounds with anything smaller than say my boys woodslasher or craftsman
     
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  12. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    947
    Jul 25, 2017
    Ok, this had me thinking today...

    Length wise, perfect at 25"
    Weighs in at 3 1/2lbs, still very packable
    Curved, vintage handle.
    Good for bucking, limbing, kindling, long walks on the beach and traveling ;):D:):cool:

    [​IMG]

    I have some great red firehose I am going to make a sheath out of for the Adirondack Swamper...one day sooner than later:cool:
     
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  13. Maine20

    Maine20 Basic Member Basic Member

    130
    Aug 8, 2017
    That’s a awesome axe! A bit more beef then I want to carry but still very cool.
     
    phantomknives likes this.
  14. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Miller '72, post: 18099821,
    [​IMG]

    Nothing wrong about a “Swampirondack”!
    :)
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  15. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    241
    Jul 31, 2017
    It looks like this thread brought me luck :) THANKS!!!
    I've just got FSS TT Boy's Axe.... It weights 49 ounces. That handle just feels freak...g awesome!!!
    Looks similar to red woodslasher but feels totally different in my hand[​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 8:23 PM
    Square_peg, Maine20 and Miller '72 like this.
  16. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    947
    Jul 25, 2017
    Oh Boy Boys Axe Indeed!!
    Fantastic in every way.
    Looks to be in great shape and the handle condition and shape looks like it feels as awesome as it looks!

    Dont put that down and walk away...can't wait to see him all cleaned and dressed. Excellent haul
     
  17. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    241
    Jul 31, 2017
    Funny you said that: Searching for info on FSS Boy's axe was the reason I ended up on this forum.... Well, finally, I got one so I guess I have to say "Sayonara Guys"......

    Just kidding ..... I have a new target to search for: A handcrafted plunger with a sheath made from pure wool 8 point Hudson Bay blanket :)
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  18. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Sweet!
    That's the weight with haft included? Eye size matches boys axe size?
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  19. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    241
    Jul 31, 2017
    @Square_peg 49.4 ounces to be exact whole axe vs 53 for the red woodslasher boy's axe. It looks like the weight difference comes from the handle being very dry (one of those tiny dry cracks by the head worries me: maybe I need to spackle some wood glue before BLO treatment). The hang is very tight (4 ridges) even though somebody hammered in 2 masonary nails to fill the gap (the wedge did not go all the way across the eye or just shrunk)

    Ok one more thing about packing axe. In my case, after hiking with the backpack whole day my spine and knees don't flex so easily. At the end of the day with slightly impaired coordination and bending movement of the knees longer handle gives better chance not becoming one legged pirate :). Once you decide on lugging 2 lbs steel head any additional inch of the handle is less then 2/3 of the oz.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 9:22 AM
    Square_peg likes this.
  20. Maine20

    Maine20 Basic Member Basic Member

    130
    Aug 8, 2017
    So I think I have decided on a 24 inch stright handle. I already have two 2.5 lbs boys axes, 27 and 29 inch handles. I am thinking that going with a shorter, stright handle will be a chance to try something new. If I don’t like it I can always change it. Thanks for all the advice! I’ll let you know how it comes out.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 6:20 PM

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